, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1107–1118 | Cite as

Patterns of movement in the Ventnor landslide complex, Isle of Wight, southern England

  • J. M. CareyEmail author
  • R. Moore
  • D. N. Petley
Original Paper


The patterns of ground movement were monitored within a large, deep-seated landslide complex at Ventnor in southern England, between May 1998 and June 2002 using automated crackmeters, settlement cells and vibrating wire piezometers. It was found that the landslide maintains a state of marginal instability, such that it is subject to continual very slow deformation. Movement is primarily on a low-angled basal shear surface at >90 m depth. The movement record shows a series of distinct deformation patterns that vary as groundwater conditions change. Continuous slow deformation occurs across the landslide complex at rates of between 5 and 10 mm/year. The background pattern of movement does not appear to correlate with local porewater pressure. Periods of more rapid movement (reaching up to c. 34 mm/year during the monitoring period) were associated with a period of elevated groundwater, although the relationship between movement rate and porewater pressure was complex. The patterns of movement and the landslide geometry suggest that the likelihood of a rapid, catastrophic failure is low. Future episodes of faster movement are likely during periods when porewater pressures at the basal shear surface are elevated above a critical threshold. Whilst the resulting surface deformation damages the town, it is unlikely to occur rapidly without significant changes to the landslide hydrogeology or the stress state within the landslide.


Monitoring Isle of Wight Landslide 



The results presented in this paper are the product of collaborative PhD research between Halcrow, a CH2M HILL Company, and the International Landslide Centre at the Department of Geography, University of Durham. The research was funded, in part, through the Halcrow Award Scheme. The authors acknowledge the work and support of the Isle of Wight Council which has invested significantly in the continued monitoring and maintenance of the Ventnor Landslide Management Strategy, to which they have allowed access. The authors would further like to thank colleagues at Halcrow and the valuable contributions made by former colleagues and consultants at Geomorphological Services Limited and High Point Rendel who were involved in the initial development and implementation of the Undercliff Landslide Management Strategy in the early 1990s. This manuscript has greatly improved following review comment from Russel Van Dissen and Dr Mauri McSaveney. Carey’s time to prepare the manuscript was provided by GNS Science in New Zealand, whilst Petley was funded by the Earthquakes without Frontiers grant from NERC/ESRC, grant number: NE/J01995X/1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GNS ScienceLower HuttNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  3. 3.CH2M HILLBirminghamUK
  4. 4.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  5. 5.Department of GeographyDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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